My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Aaron Watson – ‘Angles & Outlaws’

angels-outlawsAngles & Outlaws, released in 2008, saw Aaron Watson transitioning into a more contemporary sound in hopes of wider airplay. It was his first release for Big Label Records and managed to peak at #28 on the national country album’s chart and #175 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Watson solely wrote nine out of fifteen cuts for the project. In keeping with his mission, Watson incorporates drums alongside the steel, fiddle, and twangy guitar on the excellent “Whisky On The Fire.” “Wake Up and Smell The Coffee” couldn’t be more country, or lovely, with divine breakneck fiddle leading the way. “Love Makin’ Song” is terrible, with clunky electric guitars and a terrible lyric.

Watson rebounds with “Roller Costar Ride,” which is a bit heavier than we’ve come to expect from him, but still enjoyable nonetheless. “Hearts are Breaking Across Texas” is an impeccable weeper complete with fiddle, steel, and Watson’s gorgeous vocal. The title track is a subtle country rocker and is neither terrible nor very good. “Barbed Wire Halo” is a gospel-tinged number given the delicacy such a song rightly deserves.

Overall, Angles and Outlaws is a very good album with solid songs and a more polished sound. The concessions to mainstream country are small enough that it doesn’t really matter and it’s nice that Watson’s true spirit wasn’t lost in the process.

Grade: B+

One response to “Album Review: Aaron Watson – ‘Angles & Outlaws’

  1. luckyoldsun February 19, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Outlaws work a lot of angles and someone may yet use that as a title–but not here!

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